Thursday, December 6, 2012

Social Justice Events And Reflection - The Gloria Gemma Fashion Show

     This Saturday, September 15, 2012, would be a day that I never thought I would spend doing what I did. The Gloria Gemma Foundation and additional sponsors set up this fashion show. The fashion show took place in the Warwick Mall in RI.  It is 11:15 already and I am running late already, so typical of me. I think I am going to be late to my own wedding, Haha. Got into the mall running to the center where the event is taking place.  It is hair and makeup time, all this glitz and glamor.  I am not late.  Getting my hair and makeup done the way I like it to be done.  Then it is time to decide what outfit to wear from Victoria Secret from the Pink line, thank you Victoria Secret for letting us model your pink line.  Hair, makeup, and dress up a little girls fashion dream.  As all of us from the 2013 Young Women's Calendar for Gloria Gemma (coming out on October 6,2012 be sure to support us) got together for one mutual cause.  To get the message, "That breast cancer is not just your grandmother's disease" and make women aware.  As all of us gather together we shared and listened to each others stories.  Stories of treatment, care, and things that these women have experienced with life and the obstacles that present themselves in our lives.  This was the start to a sisterhood that, that I could not be more proud of. We also modeled clothes from one of Macy's line called INC and then furs from Macy's.  I don't believe in killing animals for fashion accessories but this fur coat was warm and I was totally in love with it.  The fur coat was a whooping $3500.00, that is a lot of money. Anyways during the fashion I met another survivor that was not part of our group, she is actually Mrs. Connecticut and such a lovely person with a great heart.  Mrs. Connecticut went through breast like we did, is doing beauty competitions and charity events she is an example of heroism. 

As of September 16, 2012,  I completed a year of being diagnosed with breast cancer.  I don't believe that it has been already a year. My judgement is cloudy and my growth hindered.  I was trying to stay in good faith around others but how do you do such a thing when everyone has abandon me in my time of need?  I have to admit it has been a struggle to walk around like everything is perfect, when there are days that I feel completely horrible and struggle to make myself be better.  Can these ladies even relate to what I feel or even know what I am even referring to, only time will tell. As time went on and so did school only a several days until October, the Breast Cancer Month.

    The month is finally here now down for the really business of breast cancer celebration, and the celebration that I am almost done or at least I thought.  My doctor goes to tell me that I will be doing weekly treatments until May ( not so excited), it is what it maybe be.  We started the month by going to the IMAX theater on October 1, 2012 see ourselves on screen and speaking about our illness and what our experience was, there was not one dry eye left in the theater that night.  More mingling with the ladies, their families, and whoever accompany them to show support.  I have to admit hearing everyone's story on when they got diagnosed and what was going on in their life at the  time.  Everyone was at different points in life but one thing for sure no one said that this came at a convenient time in life or that they were not doing anything.  Busy lives, busy schedules, and cancer.  As time went on I had to get ready for the up coming events which consisted of a full weekend of fun filled activist and us the calendar girls as honorees.
      The first day of the activities on Friday, October 5, 2012 was the calendar signing for the calendar girls of 2013 calendar for the Gloria Gemma Foundation.  It started with Barbara Morse Silva from the news speaking about the history of the calendar, and what we were all celebrating in that room.  Then had different speakers like Olivia Culpo, and Teresa Giudice.  Teresa Giudice thank us for our bravery in fighting this illness and setting the example for young women to start screening themselves now, she also celebrity bartender at the hotel bar, and gave us a trinket that was a token of her appreciation. The night progressed with the calendar women of 2012 resigning their reign and handing it over to us.  They showcased our photos that we took back in June and July and we were not able to see what any of the pictures looked like until that night.  So new pictures were showcased month by month, each pair of cancer survivors going up to represent their months all being announced by Barbara and Olivia.  Round of applause and tears flowed from family, friends, and supporters, what an over welling response.  After we finished that we sat with our sash, pens, a rose in a long table ready to sign the calendar for all those that came to support the event. We signed so many calendars that our hands almost fell off.
     The second day was long and one that I will never forget on Saturday, October 6, 2012, I actually started the at 12 pm signing calendars in Waterplace park.  I sat under a tent signing away for an hour and meeting new people that admired my courage, but seeing people that I already knew but they didn't know what I went through.  The day progressed with me going to check out all the other tents and see all the different venues that were there.  I had lunch with the photographers, and dinner with Mrs. Connecticut.  I venture to the pink bus that had one of the ladies that was going through her cancer treatments.  She had been going through cancer for awhile she was diagnosed with triple negative cancer, and had been through so many treatments but had no success with any of them put she was optimist that there would be one.  She thanked me for signing her calendar and was greatly appreciative for the bravery that we went through as survivors, but we had to be the ones to thank her.  She was a wonderful lady, optimistic, a great view on survivorship and what it stands for, Laurie C. I thank you and wish that we would have had more time to get to know each other.  Even though Laurie lost her battle to breast cancer, she has won a special place in my heart, and will never be forgotten.  As the day continued there was hugs and support from everyone that I would encounter.  As the night hit we had a torch ceremony, that started off late because of passing thunderstorms.  The night cleared up and the festivities continued, the torch ceremony was an honor, no wait an absolute privilege to go through such an experience.  An experience on were I realized that I really made it, and I survived. I shared  a platform in Waterplace with the survivors and a lady that had just started treatment.  She hated life to the fullest, and every component of it.  I told her to look around her that we have all experienced it and survived, she told be that I don't understand because I am too young to get it.  Oh, boy am I really that young to get it, no I get it because I actual got the illness and am here to talk about it.  We got a rose that night and I told her to take the rose and throw it over to the river, but before she does it to release all the angry, frustration, and animosity with the rose.
    The third day on Sunday, October 7, 2012 I seemed to catch a cold because of the damp, wet conditions and felt a little under the weather.  I wore layers of clothes, and headed out early in the morning for the Gloria Gemma 5k.  I jog, and walked the 5k with my best friend and her mother that came to support me in 46:10, I am so proud. So many people there getting ready to support family, friends, or whoever just to know that people have been affected by this some way or another.
    I attended Tickle Pink by Women & Infants that was put together by Jen my friend and one of my supporters.  I had a blast the sit down dinner, comedy show, and give aways were all great and the experience to share and know to be proud to be a survivor, oh and more people to find out that I was ill.  Thank you Jen, you did a wonderful job, and I am glad that you gave me tickets to attend.  American Cancer society walk that I opted not to jog but walked with my family.  There was a cool car that had breast cancer symbols all over it. I was also on the Jim Vincent show and in many publications promoting the events, my story and awareness.  I not only have done that I was in the school paper "The Anchor", and the school radio station promoting breast health awareness to all women young and old.
     I also had a charity event at The Apartment in Providence.  A special thank you to Reggie, Adrian, Fanta, and Chip Tillman.  For the support, collaboration, effort, and time to coordinate the whole things.  A special thanks to the artist that shared their stories, and to all that came to support me.  Through all these experiences it has taught me to be grateful for everything, to be positive, and welcome these people into my life as dear friends.  I have been through struggles, death knocking on my door and I got up and fought for my life.
    My motto is "when a crisis or challenge or change presents itself in your life, you have a choice either you lay down and you let the challenge consume you or you get up and fight like you life depended on it".  Positivity, health, success, and love is what needs to be surround my new life and my new start.  Thank you to all my supporters also much love, Gloria Gemma for letting me be part of their calendar, the calendar girls for the advice, support, friends, family, and most of all my dog you will always live in heart. Thank you again to the calendar girls you ladies know how to cheer me up, what to say when I am nervous, and how to support me when I am down. You are not only my friends but you are my sisters.


Talking Point #11 Crouteau, "Media and Ideology"

Extended Comments
      I am going to use Michael Woloski blog to elaborate on.  I do agree that we hear music, see things on television, play games, and etc.  Sometimes we don't pay particular attention to what is being said, act upon, played, or even talked about.  Even though Mike and I except it as okay, doesn't mean that teenagers or those that are easily influenced follow the message.  I believe that all those things that are displayed in the media as ideas are some how being excepted as okay by others, and excepted as a way of living for the small percentage.  This may be the reason that there is no respect for women or that sex is viewed in a negative light.  When you look at all the songs out there, an example for me is Taylor Swift that sings about all her break ups.  How ever the break up happened, there is another song for Taylor Swift, and then what is funny is hearing females saying that they can relate to the experience that she is such a good role model.  I believe that she is confused and looking for love in all the wrong places, that and the fact that she travels in concert so often leads to many issues with having stable and great relationships.  She is young and all the guys she has dated whether young or older have not been the greatest guys.  Anyways this is an example of how young girls idealize her and the things that make her heroic.  What happens with women still called sluts, hoes, cunts the media emphasizes it and makes it okay for women to be categorized as those things because every rap song you hear "she is a hoe"! Then there are songs of females being strong and voicing their opinion to these derogatory terms that are referring to females. Females showing other women that change needs to happen that they are strong , and that no man will hold them down.

My fear is for women to think it is okay to be called those things and that these are the signs of what the future holds.  We need to see the media as a form of expression not as something that you would form your life's goals and missions around.  So I disagree with Mike that there is no influence on society by the media, because we have a rise in domestic violence, and the disrespect in women continues to happen. We need to listen but not let it influence.

Talking Point #9 Rachel Rabbit White, "8 Ways To Be Positive You're Sex Positive"

      Reading about sex positive was interesting I have to admit when I first read the article I got stuck on jargon or terminology that I have seen when referring to humans. I have heard of the term asexual when it refers to organisms or animals. What could it possibly mean when it is referring to humans , and what the hell is gray-sexual? Anyways as I read on this aeticle talks about sex and being sex positive many thoughts came into my head like when was the last time I had sex, either chemobrain is kicking in or it was just so bad to even remember.   I have heard of the "Slut Walk" started by a woman that was stopped by a state trooper and called a slut.  This is a walk for women to dress as slut running in heels.  Even though minority women felt threaten by it , I think it was changing something of oppression to something of power.
     I don't want to have sex unless I feel that I am going to be with the person, in a relationship that is loving and giving.  I don't care what other guys think for it will be as it will be.  Anyone can engage in sex, but this is the reason that sex has lost the true reason for it besides the reason of procreation. Sex has long been identified with many negative things and not so positive.  In the US we believe that you should cover up, and we have nude beaches but really in Europe they go topless in the beach with their own family and don't think anything different of it.  Is the message that is conveyed, that dirty equals human body, and  that we need to cover up so much?  Is the US placing a bad label on sex to start off with and then it is characterized as a negative topic.
    When you look at today society I see in the dating world that I need to compete with women that leave nothing to the imagination and women that easily sleep with a guy.  I am not calling these women any names you do what you need to do for yourself, but at the same time every guy that has gotten use to such a thing expects it from every female they encounter.  For a female like myself I don't just want to hit and split, I have had my time of doing those things, and it doesn't really leave you anywhere but someone being hurt by the actions. Don't get me wrong I love to be intimate but when it comes to the right person and situation!  I love passion, and all things associated with sex and with someone that you love. Some might see this as me being a prude, but it is what it is.  I believe that everyone has the right to consent to sex, even if they are married or with a partner.  I should not feel that I need to engage in sex every time I am with my significant other, I feel that we both should be wanting to be intimate and that makes sex all the much better.  There are time that your significant other expects you to engage in sex with them I feel it is along the lines of rape.  There are females that are more dominant, open minded, and liberal when it comes to sex, don't get me wrong it is not like I am not but I have more of an old fashion sense.  Here are women being open and liberal in asking men to sleep with them in another language that is more romantic but the nature of the beast is the same way anyway you slice it.

 Sex is nothing to be ashamed of some people have it everyday, every few hours others, and some maybe once or twice a month.  Whatever it maybe from having sex, and being smart, to fetishes, to kinky things, to role playing, toys, and etc.. all I can say if that all parties can agree then by all means have fun, enjoy, and be sex positive. I know I am comfortable about talking about sex and being sex positive, I hope everyone else is.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Miscellaneous post #2

In reference to the topic of Sex as Feminist Practice discussed in class it reminded me of watching Dr. Ruth on a television show in Florida.  So for those of you that don't know about Dr. Ruth here is a video of this little old lady and her discussing the various topics on sex. So here is another video of Dr. Ruth discussing masturbation.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Talking Point #12 Ayvazian, "Interrupting the Cycle of Oppression;" Blanchard, "Combatting International Bigotry and Inadvertently Racist Acts"

Reflection, Connections and Arguments:

      As I read both articles, a few things entered my mind and I sat to think how I was going to compose the piece but then thought I have used all my options, so incorporating a few different options for this pieces will help me tie it together.   Especially since on article is in reference to allies, why the other is clearly about how to battle racism and bigotry. So here goes nothing.
    I as I read the first article by Ayvazian as the author addressed the ways to interrupt the cycle of oppression being using a few of the masters' and their tools to dismantle the wall that they helped build. By this the author means that if we can find the people that fit the SCWAAMP profile to help the people that are opposite of them.  I understand that these people are helping others understand the oppression that they are placing on people that are opposite of what they are. My one question becomes do they truly understand the pain and anguish that comes from the social injustice?  Or how these people have to pick up the broken pieces on the floor and act like nothing is wrong and continue doing what they were doing unfathomed by anything.  As a female and someone that endure a terrible illness, the only ones that get that pain and anguish are those that have experienced the pain that is associated with the action that was placed on them.  Everyone else can try to sympathize or give you piety but you don't want that either. You want them to relate but they cant even imagine themselves in that predicament or even in your shoes.
    I once was told a story by a man that stood up for what he believed was correct.  One day walking to his car he came upon a couple arguing about something, so he payed no mind to the couple and continued to walk to his car.  Got into the car and watched the couple continue to bicker.  Then from one moment to another the couple got into a physical altercation, he thought about getting involved and decided that it would be a bad idea.  So the guy continued to mind his own business, we he saw the male continuously beat on the female.  So the guy got out of the car and told the other guy that if he wanted to pick on someone his own size that he would take him on.  So then the two guys began fighting eventual someone called the police and the police arrived at the scene to break up the fight and arrest the two guys.  He was standing up for her because his mother taught him that a woman is something you treasure and not abuse.  A fight is not a fair one between a man and a woman, so that is why he intervened.  As the story goes on he tells me that not only did he get arrested for sticking up for the female, but he had to go to court because they were both pressing charges on him for assault.  Do you believe that, he was doing a honorable thing only for the female to accuse him of beating on her boyfriend for no apparent reason.  As he told me the story he told me never again will he get involved in a domestic dispute, and he will walk away and pretend it never happened due to all the legal fees that he acquired for that one act of bravery. Here is two different scenarios with different races involved, and what local patrons did for each woman.
     Then you have the article on Blanchard argues that we can combat bigotry and racist acts through education and diversity of the schools.  I agree to disagree.  I agree that education on other races, will give you an understanding but not a complete understanding on the pain and discrimination that the person or race endures on an everyday basis.  It can cause an awakening for the individual to see their faults.  This awaken can lead to many great things but at the same time can cause their own families to disown them, because of their racial preference.  I disagree because your learning comes from your environment and upbringing.  If in your household you are taught to be racist to a certain race for no reason, but you have to go to school with that race you may tolerate that fact that you guys go to school together but that may be the extend of it.  As for your prejudice and racism comments you may have, it has been instilled in your brain since childhood the reason that you have for not liking the race can be as simple as you don't know but your parents feel that way so you will feel that way.  It is hard to educate a person that the very thought process that was given to them by their parents has been ignorant and wrong on all levels. So as I continued to read this article it reminded me of the article that we read on race as a feminist issue.  On how these authors spoke to us about how even though they may have a great education, they are not only being singled out because they are females but because of there racial background so they have a hard time finding their place in society.
     As a Spanish female I can tell you I have dealt with prejudice and racism on many extremes. I will tell you a personal story that involved my education and racism.  When I was going to high school my own guidance councilor discouraged me from applying for admittance at an Ivy League School because her belief was because my parents did not attend college and my racial statistics that I would automatically be a failure.  I had the grades and the entrance exam to apply to one if I wanted ( I later found that out because my mother gave my transcripts to someone at Brown University in admission that I would have been able to attend.) and I had several garbage bags filled with college letters seeking to enroll me. Due to the lack of guidance I developed a fear of failure, in not being able to get the grades I need and in being able to believe that I will not achieve success in graduate school.  This has taken me time and several illness to believe and fight the fact that I am intelligent and able to accomplish anything that I set my mind to. Even those that are educated enough still have prejudice and racism that enters their mind, they may never say anything but there actions speak louder then words. So I am ready to graduate and conquer my fears to the fullest, despite what people believe about my ethnic background, or even challenges that have been set forth for me to tackle.  I am ready to achieve what I was meant to achieve regardless of whoever or whatever decides to stand in my way. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

How my thought process has changed due to class

Miscellaneous post 1:
I found this on Facebook and thought that this is so great to reflect on! Before this class I would have looked at this and said that is cool and posted a like status to it. Now with the knowledge of this class to analyze this posting everything  is in blue, heterosexuality is assumed as top priority, that female and female is listed last, and how people believe that not caring or minding their own business will help wipe out homophobia from any social media.  That is plain ignorance!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Day Talking Point #10

Election Day

      I can't say that I am sad that this day is finally over, so I don't have to listen to the foul campaign ads that were playing on television over and over again.  I have to admit that I didn't get to vote today, due to my own fault of being busy looking at different treatment regiments and brushing up on my medical knowledge. At first I couldn't decide where to go and watch the election because where would they show it?  Then I drove up and down the street of Federal Hill to see all the bars have their high definition televisions glued to the electoral returns.  So I decided that by myself I would go into Siena Restaurant to visit my friend the bartender that was working, and see the electoral returns all the while enjoying a salmon salad with a nice glass of wine.
     As I got cozy at the bar and tried to get a up front seat, which was not hard to get considering the fact that I am good friends with the bartender and know the owner very well. So I started a conversation at the bar with a gentlemen named Mike and the owner of the restaurant.  I spoke about how much I hate the brutal campaign ads that were out there, then owner tells me, "that in the past the topic of politics was a lot worse then it is now, they were very brutal, and that today their actions are considered civil."  He goes on to tell me how they even got physical when it came to altercations with each other over the supremacy of politics. The gentleman Mike goes on to tell me, "that the East Coast for as far long as he can remember has held the Democratic vote, so has the belt states that is why they are called the blue belt, and the central states has been over taken by the Republican Party since the Regan administration."  As Mike continues to talk my ear on politics and what people's views were.  He stated that," even though Obama will get into office again and that the business owners and the rich have to pay a little more in taxes, so what at least he felt that the country was in good hands."                      
     As I sat on the edge of my seat to watch the election because for a great while they were neck and neck with each other.  Even the numbers that came in from each state were so close to one another, that for awhile it made the candidacy hard to predict.  They said that the first candidate to reach 270 first is most likely the president of the United States.  As the number inched away and I became more interested in the outcome.  Romney at one point was beating Obama by 20 to 30 electoral votes, and then a sudden change occurred were Obama numbers sky rocket beyond those of Romney.  It was 201 Romney, and 274 Obama, and Obama has been reelected president for the second term.  My interest were to see the returns for the state of Colorado because of my project and their belief on the Legalization of Medicinal Marijuana, and Obama took the electoral votes for Colorado. In Colorado the Legalization was approved by a vote of 53% for yes on the topic, and then it was also a sad day for another state that being Oregon in which the voted no on the issue with 55%.  Check out this article on the returns and the states that placed the Legalization of Medical Marijuana on their election ballots.As I last saw the only states that were left to tally their votes were Alaska, and Florida but the score was 303 Obama, and 203 Romney.  Obama wins the reelection into office, please make America proud and prove all those that doubted you that you deserve this chance to clean up the deficit. Here is Obama's Victory Speech: